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July 17, 2008

Al Qaeda in Iraq Devastated By Emmy Snub of "The Wire" and Surge Tactics, But Mostly Surge Tactics

Is the war over, effectively if not formally? The Geopolitical 8-Ball says "Possibly; Try Again."

Note the very encouraging fact that Al Qaeda has been reduced to using its technically-skilled recruits -- its bomb-building geeks -- for actual field missions. That's a damn good sign, cannibalizing high-value bomb-makers for use in field operations for which they're blessedly ill-prepared.

I'm partially rewriting this, not for comic value, but to avoid AP's lawyer intimidation.

COMBAT OUTPOST COPPER, Iraq - [Where US troops once faced frequent sniping and IEDs, all is now peaceful.]

"The difference is night and day," says Capt. George Morris, 26....

[Throughout the country, Al Qaeda has become so degraded and decimated that it is all but "irrelevant" in the war.]

[In the AP's own words, in the Latifiyah area, at least, "it's hard not see that the goal [of the surge] appears to have been achieved." A fairly roundabout and soft-pedaled way of saying "The success of the surge is undeniable and obvious."]

...

"The people themselves will turn over the terrorists" if they show themselves, says al-Shamari.

...

[Al Qaeda in Iraq once numbered 6,000 or so; their numbers have dwindled. But if their ranks have thinned, their leadership has been all but wiped out. So many leaders have been so killed, captured, and scattered into hiding that the remaining force is largely ineffectual. Indeed, with so many field leaders dead or otherwise incapacitated, technically-oriented lab-geek types have been shanghaied into service as combatants, and even leaders.]

[This cannibalization of Al Qaeda's technical cadre has a doubly deleterious effect -- not only the bombmakers simply poor tactical leaders, but more and more of them have been exposed to risk, and often killed or captured -- thus leading to a degredation of Al Qaeda's bomb-making capabilities, as well as their battlefield execution.]

[Triggering mechanism have become cruder and less reliable. IEDs used to contain hundreds of pounds of explosives; now IEDs are being seen with relatively small charges of 25 pounds or less.]

"They just can't get the material any more to do what they want to do," Batschelet said.

Good stuff, good stuff. I'd say "read the whole thing," but it's AP. Fuck them.


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posted by Ace at 02:12 PM

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